Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday dismissed Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson as a “fringe candidate.”
“I think he’s a fringe candidate, you want to know the truth,” Mr. Trump told reporters in New York, pointing out that Mr. Johnson got about 1 percent of the vote as the Libertarian candidate in 2012.
“I look at him and I watch him and I watch his motions and I watch what he says,” Mr. Trump said. “I think that he is a fringe candidate.”
Mr. Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, secured the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nomination at a convention in Orlando over the weekend.
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld won the party’s vice presidential nomination at the convention. Although there was a separate vote, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Weld had essentially been campaigning as a ticket.
“I suppose it is a fringe ticket, if a combined 14 years of successful governing in two of the nation’s bluest states, cutting taxes, balancing budgets and reducing the size of government constitute a fringe,” said Joe Hunter, communications director for the Johnson campaign.
Toward the end of an appearance on CNN earlier Tuesday, Mr. Johnson blew a kiss to Mr. Trump, after he had attacked the billionaire businessman’s immigration policies as “racist” over the weekend.
Some have also been toying with a separate effort to recruit an independent candidate to run as an alternative to Mr. Trump in his likely matchup against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“You can’t win as an independent,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday.
“If they do an indie, assuming it’s decent — which I don’t think anybody with a reputation would do it, because [they’d] look like fools,” he said. “But what you’re going to do is you lose the election for the Republicans, and therefore you lose the Supreme Court.
“Therefore, you will have a group of people put on the Supreme Court where this country will never, ever recover,” he said. “It will never, ever be the same.”